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In like Flint - Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 17 Jun 2013
By: Randy Russon

There is positive news of a co-operative unity regarding junior hockey in Flint.
Michigan Warriors of the North American Hockey League and Flint Jr. Generals of the North American 3 Hockey League will both be operated by Firland Management effective the 2013-2014 season.
Firland, which is a Maine-based company, already manages both the Perani Arena and Event Centre (home of the NAHL Warriors) and Iceland Arena (home of the NA3HL Jr. Generals) in Flint.
Firland began managing the business side of the Warriors prior to the start of the 2012-2013 season and the NAHL team saw a marked increase in game attendance and corporate sponsorship under the arrangement and with Jeremy Torrey as director of sales and marketing.
Jim Cain, president of Firland Management, said his company's arrangement with the NA3HL Jr. Generals will be similar to the one it has with the NAHL Warriors.
Cain added that founder Gale M. Cronk and his son Kelly Cronk will continue as owners of the Jr. Generals for the 2013-2014 season "but that Firland will manage the team on their behalf."
The Cronks have put the Jr. Generals up for sale and Cain said he will work with the father-son ownership duo "to find a buyer that will keep the team in Flint. Gale and Kelly have been involved with the Jr. Generals for a long time now and they would like to move on."
Cain said that Firland "might be involved" in the possible purchase of the Jr. Generals.
The NAHL Warriors and the NA3HL Jr. Generals have not had a close relationship in the past but Cain said he sees that changing with Firland now managing both teams and the rinks they play in as a combined force and united action.
"The goal of this exercise is to form a synergy between the Warriors and the Jr. Generals and to maintain an NAHL team and an NA3HL team in Flint in a co-operative venture," Cain said evenly.
Of note, the Jr. Generals have changed their long-time colours from blue-gold-white to a blue-red-white scheme that is very similar to what the Warriors wear. The Jr. Generals have also unveiled a new logo, which is displayed here.
In addition, Firland employee Jon Jepson, who is an assistant coach with the NAHL Warriors, will also handle general manager duties with the NA3HL Jr. Generals. Jepson has also served as manager of Iceland Arena.
As Jepson will now be involved with both teams, Moe Mantha will return for his fourth season as coach-general manager and part owner of the NAHL Warriors and Steve Howard will be back behind the bench for his second term with the NA3HL Jr. Generals in 2013-2014. 


posted Jun. 17th, 2013 - 11:24am
Tony Prito says:
This is Good News! There has allways been some kinda friction between the Warriors and the Junior Generals and Im not sure why. This is good for afiliation purposes and for fan's too.

posted Jun. 17th, 2013 - 2:33pm
John Trenchard says:
I have been to a few of the Generals games at the Iceland Arena and for Tier 3 Level the Hockey is pretty good - I would say the caliber is a bit higher than when they had the team in the Central States League.
Flint has become a Junior hockey town whether the "old boys club" likes it or not and I to see this partnership with the Warriors as positive News. Flint needs to put the old Minor Pro Generals in the History books and we can still reminiss about them days but Junior hockey is a big part of todays game. I will support the Warriors again this comming season to the extent of 10 or 12 of the home games and I might be persuaded to make it out to Iceland to watch the "Junior" Generals play a couple of times.

posted Jun. 17th, 2013 - 2:45pm
John Bell says:
Good skinny Randy - BTW do you know when the 2013-2014 NAHL schedule will be available?

posted Jun. 17th, 2013 - 2:55pm
Randy Russon says:
hey John Bell, how's it going, my ESPN Radio chum?

To answer your question: The complete NAHL schedule should be finalized by the end of next week, I am told.



posted Jun. 17th, 2013 - 3:07pm
Tony Prito says:
That old Sportswriter from the Flint Journal is part of the "Good Ole Boys Club" that wants nothing to do with the Warriors which is fine as the Warriors are reaching out to "real hockey fans" of all age's and fans are getting accustomed to the Juniors Game.

posted Jun. 18th, 2013 - 6:45am
Randy Russon says:

That may be true about the "old sportswriter" (I think you are referring to Brendan Savage) but Ross Maghliese of the Flint Journal's Mlive.com does a good job of at least recognizing the Warriors and the NAHL in a reputable manner.

posted Jun. 18th, 2013 - 7:09am
Tony Prito says:
There is more coverage of the Warriors on JUNIORHOCKEY.COM than any wheres else.You do the best job of covering the Warriors!

posted Jun. 18th, 2013 - 7:42am
Randy Russon says:

Thanks for the nice words.

Stephen Heisler, who brought me to JuniorHockey.com in December of 2011, gives me free rein to write about whatever I want to within the junior hockey landscape. It is Stephen who has built and expanded JuniorHockey.com to the extent that the Michigan Warriors, as an example, get the coverage that they do. Folks may or may not agree with all of what Stephen writes but this is a guy who has significantly raised the profile of junior hockey at many levels.



posted Jun. 18th, 2013 - 8:26am
Stephen Heisler says:
Your wife drop a few too many sugar cubes in your coffee this morning?

posted Jun. 18th, 2013 - 8:28am
Randy Russon says:

I figured this was the best way to get a raise.

posted Jun. 18th, 2013 - 1:34pm
Tony Prito says:
you 2 guys are funny!

going to by my Warriors Tickets for next season they have a special on til July 1st.

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* Article disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Randy Russon, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.

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